Da’Bell v NSPCC UKEAT/0227/09

In this case the judge indicated that the Vento damages for injury to feelings in discrimination cases should be increased for inflation as follows:

  • lower band: up to £6,000;
  • middle band: up to £18,000;
  • upper band: up to £30,000;

Ms Da’Bell started work for the NSPCC in 2002. She was fitted with a pacemaker and the NSPCC accepted that she was disabled. The Tribunal upheld her discrimination claim in part because of the NSPCC’s failure to follow some of the recommendations made by the reports and the delay in dealing with her grievances. The Tribunal awarded her £12,000 for injury to feelings to which interest of £2,160 was added. The NSPCC cross appealed the amount of the injury to feelings award. This was dismissed, as the applications of the Vento guidelines was not an exact science. The Tribunal had had sufficient information before it to make the award it made in the middle of the Vento band.

Key point: Employers will not welcome the increase but the EAT did not give general advice on the approach to be taken in future cases or as to the fixed nature of the bands for the foreseeable future. Placement of a claim in the wrong band is likely to give rise to an appeal.